[Tweeters] Pewees and Cowbirds

Jeff Kozma jcr_5105 at charter.net
Tue Aug 17 21:37:07 PDT 2010

I assisted with a breeding bird study in Raton, NM in 1992 where they were
looking at the impact of cowbird parastism on the birds of pinyon juniper
woodlands in relation to proximity to grazing cattle. We found lots of
western wood pewee (WWPE) nests but never one that was parasitized. I think
the graduate student on that study published a paper on his work. Western
Tanagers, Plumbeous Vireos and Blue-gray Gnatcatchers were the most
parasitized. Most tyrannid flycatchers defend their nests too aggressively
to allow cowbirds to sneak in and drop an egg. To see a WWPE feeding a
cowbird chick I would think is pretty exceptional and a great observation.

Jeff Kozma


----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Ramos" <lsr at ramoslink.info>
To: "Tweeters" <tweeters at u.washington.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, August 17, 2010 8:02 PM
Subject: [Tweeters] Pewees and Cowbirds

> Tweets,


> Just returned from a long weekend camping trip in central Oregon. Nothing

> too remarkable in the limited time I was able to escape from the group to

> bird, except I observed a pair of Western Wood-Pewees feeding a juvenile

> Brown-headed Cowbird. From a limited search on the internet (e.g., Nesting

> Success of the Western Wood-Pewee in Colorado, Western Birds, 28:110-112,

> 1997), it seems that only some tyrannid flycatchers are parasitized by

> cowbirds while others, including the pewees, are much less so. So, I was

> wondering if others have made similar observations.


> Scott Ramos

> Seattle

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